THEOLOGIE

Panthéon, Numina et considérations diverses.

RoDM

C'est en anglais pour l'instant. Si vous êtes vraiment anglophobe des sections sont traduites là :

http://taran.pagesperso-orange.fr/pourlesnuls_rom.htm
http://taran.pagesperso-orange.fr/pourlesnuls_religions.htm

THE PATHENON

THE OLD WORLD PATHENON

 

THE SELF MADE GODS

Sigmar, Foster son of Manann and Verena
Jeanne du Lac, Foster daughter of Manann and Myrmidia
Ranald, Foster son of Shallya (more or less)
Handrich, Foster son of Manann (brother of Ranald)

  

PATHENON OF ARABY

 

DWARVEN PATHENON : Grungni and the ancestors Gods

ELVEN PATHENON : Liadriel, Adamnan Na Brionha

HALFING PATHENON : Esmeralda, The Pilgrim

GODS OF LAW : Arianka, Solkan, Illuminas

GODS OF CHAOS : Slaanesh, Khorne, Nurgle, Tzeentch, Zuvassin, Necoho, Malal, The Horned rat

La table suivante liste les divinités du Monde Connu :

Dieu

Domaines

Panthéon

Distribution

Sources

Kali

?

?

Ind?

WFRP

Bögenauer

Protection de Bögenhafen

Vieux Monde?

Bögenhafen

LCI

Baalrukh

Feu

-

Rigg

Guerre, Sang, Koka, Mort Violente

Amazone

Lustrie

CC2

Besta

Chats, Fertilité

Arabe

Arabie

RoDM

Horanan

Guerre, Vengeance

Arabe

Arabie

RoDM

Kheamanta

Rivières, Fertilité

Arabe

Arabie

RoDM

Nefarini

Beauté, Famille

Arabe

Arabie

RoDM

Orierus

Nuit, Monde Souterrain

Arabe

Arabie

RoDM

Ormazd (Allah)

Soleil/Divinité unique

Arabe

Arabie

RoDM

Thebias

Savoir, Magie, Musique

Arabe

Arabie

RoDM

Simca Orange

Cathay

Cathay

V2

Khorne (Grand Gojira)

Guerre, Violence

Chaos

Malal

Lutte contre le Chaos

Chaos

Necoho

Anti-cléricalisme

Chaos

QPK

Nurgle (Catshit)

Fatalisme

Chaos

Slaanesh

Hédonisme

Chaos

Tzeentch (Tsien-Tsin)

Changement

Chaos

Zuvassin

Gaspillage

Chaos

QPK

Khakkekk

Massacre

Chaos (Gobelin)

EeF

Hashut

Magie, Engingnerie

Chaos (Nain)

Terres Sombres

LA:NdC

Kweethul Grisstlegut

Destruction

Chaos (Skaven)

RoC : TLatD

Rat Cornu

Domination Skaven

Chaos (Skaven)

Adamnan-Na-Brionha (Le Premier, Le Seigneur de la Dance)

Danse, Guerre

Elfe

RoDM, LPC

Amex

Prospérité, Bonheur

Elfe

CC2

Liadriel

Musique, Danse, Poésie, Vin

Elfe

WFRP

Balor

Fimir

WD

Ringil (Rukh)

Forgeron, Bouffonerie

Gnome, Nain

LNA

Gork

Brutalité

Gobelinoïde

Mère Champignon

Snotlings

Gobelinoïde

MàVlE

Mork

Ruse

Gobelinoïde

Zotan-Lufûtatar

Ruse, Domination, Magie

Gobelinoïde

RoDM

Grûmbull

Fête, Paresse

Gobelinoïde

RoDM

Mabrotnosh

Procréation, Amour

Gobelinoïde

RoDM

Esméralda

Fourneau, Foyer

Halfeling

WFRP

Bibogenitus

Brassage?

Halfeling

CoD

Le Pèlerin

Aventure

Halfeling

RoDM

Gangee

Protecteur du Garde Manger

Halfeling

RoDM

Findol

Garde des Champs

Halfeling

RoDM

Landrani

Vins et Bières

Halfeling

RoDM

Praseeda

Herbes et Épices

Halfeling

RoDM

Samortha

Enfants, Famille, Dessert

Halfeling

RoDM

Grimnir

Guerriers

Nain

PeA

Grommo

Massacreurs de Géants

Nain

PeA

Grungni

Mines, Lieux Souterrains

Nain

PeA

Morgrim

Engingneurs

Nain

PeA

Smednir

Métallurgie

Nain

PeA

Thungni

Forgeron des Runes

Nain

PeA

Valaya

Foyer, Soins

Nain

PeA

Grande Gueule

Faim, Pouvoir

Ogre

WFRP

Arianka

Loi, Discipline

Ordre

WFRP

Illuminas

Lumière, Immobilisme

Ordre

WFRP

Solkan

Vengeance

Ordre

WFRP

Beesbok

Loisir, Santé, Bien-être

Pygmée

Lustrie

WD 100

Brobat

Travail, Souffrance, Maladie, Mort, Intrigue Politique, Pouvoir

Pygmée

Lustrie

WD 100

Axlberyn

Slann

Lustrie

WA

Quetzacoatl

Slann

Lustrie

WA

Deanosus (Liadriel ?)

Vignes

Vieux Monde

RoDM

Panasia (Liadriel ?)

Art

Vieux Monde

RoDM

Darah

Illusion, Vengeance

Vieux Monde

RoDM

Déesse Mère (Foi Antique)

Personnification de la Nature

Vieux Monde

Monde Connu

Ecaté

Vengeance, Magie Noire, Vérités Amers

Vieux Monde

RoDM

Handrich(Hændryk)

Commerce, Prospérité

Vieux Monde

Jeanne du Lac

Justice, Bravoure, Force, Modestie, Compassion, Générosité

Vieux Monde

Myrmidia

Guerre, Stratégie

Vieux Monde

Olovald

Delta de Marienburg

Vieux Monde

Marienburg

MàVlE

Ranald

Voleurs, Charlatans, Illusionisme, Jeu, Opprimés, Négociants

Vieux Monde

Rhya (Haleth, Dyrath)

Fertilité, Naissances, Famille, Chasse

Vieux Monde

Shallya

Guérison, Compassion, Miséricorde

Vieux Monde

Sigmar Heldenhammer (Sigmar Oraanlun)

L'Empire, Lutte contre le Chaos

Vieux Monde

Ulric (Olric)

Batailles, Loups, Hiver

Vieux Monde

Véréna

Sagesse, Raison, Justice

Vieux Monde

Khaine (Sangrif, Khaela Mensha Khaine)

Meurtre

Vieux Monde, Arabie, Elfe

Manann (Mathlann, Stromfels, Rijkstrum)

Mers, Océans, Rivières

Vieux Monde, Elfe

Taal (Torothal, Karog, Karnos)

Nature, Tempête, Animaux, Forêts, Montagnes

Vieux Monde, Elfe

Mórr (Sarriel, Gazul, Forsagh)

Mort, Rêves, Illusion

Vieux Monde, Elfe, Nain

DIVINE SUMMONING

Warhammer cultists are granted by their divine patrons the power to summon various magical creatures and spirit beings. Cultists don't need to prepare pentagrams or engage in contests of wills to control divine summonations -- the divine patron guarantees the summoning’s willing service -- but summonings may be more or less cooperative in fulfilling the cultist's request for specific services according to temperament, circumstances, and cult doctrine. The four basic varieties of magical creatures and spirit beings summonable with divine magic -- numina, Khaine’s Undead, elementals and demons -- are described in the sections that follow.

Many divine summonings are intelligent creatures with distinctive magical powers. As such, they require the same forethought and development as other important nonplayer characters in your scenarios.

Numina

Numina (singular numen; Classical Old Worlder -- "divine will" or "divine power") are divine spirit and magical entities summoned from the shadowrealms to aid, protect, and counsel cult priests. The characteristics and abilities of numina vary from cult to cult, but they all fall into four categories:

Divine Counselors: ghostlike spirits, typically of deceased cultists, who may share their experience, wisdom, and practical knowledge, but who have little or no power to act on this plane.
Divine Guardians : magical creatures or ghostlike spirits which protect cultists or sacred ground from enemies or intruders.
Divine Servants: ghostlike spirits, typically of deceased cultists, who may provide both counsel and magical assistance to a cultist
Divine Avatars : immensely powerful divine spirits which embody the virtues and principles of the divine patron

[[Numina may include elementals (for the Old Faith), demons (for the Chaos cults), and divine undead (for the Khaine cult).

Abilities and Limitations of Numina

Abilities: All numina have the following abilities, including those listed in the specific descriptions below:

1. A magical attack (spell, prayer, enchanted or blessed weapon, etc.) or a weapon forged or coated with True Silver is required to hit a numen.
2. A numen's attack is magical, and therefore may affect beings affected only by magical attacks.
3. Numina sense magical emanations and recognize cult alignments of creatures. These abilities work the same way as the petty prayer detect magic and the third rank prayer know alignment, but numina may exercise these abilities at will, without expending MP.
4. Numina with other magical abilities (i.e., the ability to invoke prayers or create other special magical effects) expend MP to produce those effects, just like clerics, unless stated otherwise.

Limitations : All numina have the following limitations, including those listed in the specific descriptions below:

1. Numina are subject to instability (see Rules, page ??).
2. When reduced to zero wounds, numina are unable to maintain their magical and substantial manifestations on this plane and must return immediately to the shadowrealm of their divine patron.

Basic Profiles of Numina

The following are general descriptions of the characteristics and abilities of each class of numina. See each cult description for any additional divine instruments, trappings, skills, prayers, and special magical abilities that may be available to a numen of that specific cult. [[Uh.. right now there isn’t a trace of such a level of detail in the cult descriptions. It would be swell if we had the time and room, but... we’ll see.]]

Divine Counselors

Divine counselors generally appear as ghostly apparitions of deceased cultists who have served their divine patrons well in life, and who have been chosen as spiritual guides to advise and chasten the cult's mortal followers. Divine counselors are like ghosts in that they: 1. can pass through solid objects without penalty, 2. cannot be wounded by non-magical weapons and 3. cannot cause damage to mortal beings or objects in the material plane. However, they are unlike ghosts in that they are visible only to cultists of the counselor's divine patron, and in that they do not cause fear in those who gaze upon them. Divine counselors must also remain within the bounds of the sacred ground where they were summoned, and may not move beyond those bounds.

Divine counselors are summoned to share the benefits of their life experience, wisdom, and common sense with the petitioning cultist. Though they are occasionally knowledgeable, particularly in the skills favored by the cult, and often make useful observations and suggestions, they also seem to take a great delight in chastising cultists for their folly and carelessness in adherence to cult doctrine. Like all teachers and counselors, they vary in the quality and charm of their advice. (See summon counselor prayer, page ??, and Staging Divine Magics, "Hints and Guidelines for Presenting Divine Counselors, Servants, and Avatars," page ??, for further details on summoning divine counselors.)

Divine Counselor

M WS BS S T W I A Dex Ld Int Cl WP Fel MP

4 10 10 2 5 10 60 1 50 50 50 60 60 50 10

Fly as swoopers. Skills: (Own) Cult Doctrine, Cult Lore, all layman cult skills, other skills at GM discretion.

Divine Guardians

Guardians are magical beasts summoned to guard sacred ground and any cultists there, or may serve as a mount for the summoning cleric. Guardians come in various forms according to cult, often fierce four-legged creatures or riding beasts or flying mounts. Their forms are physical and substantial, permitting them to cause damage to material beings and objects, but because of their magical nature magical attacks or true - silver are required to damage them, and their attacks affect beings damaged only by magical attacks. Guardians cause fear in creatures under 10 foot tall. (Note: Divine guardians automatically return to their divine patrons if they move beyond the bounds of sacred ground. For this reason, the cleric using a divine guardians as a mount must possess a blessed token to keep his mount from disappearing.)

The profiles of divine guardians follow those of normal animals, but with Intelligence of 20 and 10 Magic Points. See each cult description for the types of animal forms available as divine guardians; the basic profile may include weapons, armor, instruments, trappings, skills, prayers, and special magical abilities specific to each cult. (See summon guardian prayer, page ??, for further details on summoning divine guardians.)

Spirit Guardians

Spirit Guardians are immaterial spirit forms similar to ghosts, and may be human, animal, monstrous, or Daemonic in form, though most typically appear as apparitions of deceased cultists. Spirit guardians cause fear in creatures under 10 foot tall. Spirit guardians are bound to sacred ground to defend it from intruders.

Any cult enemy or intruder (as defined by the summoning cultist when the spirit guardian is summoned) must test vs. WP each round or be possessed by the guardian spirit. If the spirit wins, it possesses the intruder and forces the intruder either to leave the area, for example, or to punish itself, or to imprison or bind itself for later collection by living guards. If the intruder does not resist the spirit’s attempt to possess him, the spirit may exercise a "friendly" possession; the possessing spirit gains control of the body, but the victim’s spirit is aware and able to converse with the possessing spirit, and may be able to cooperate with the spirit, satisfying its needs to protect the sacred ground while achieving the intruder's goals; for example, if the spirit's orders are to possess intruders, walk them away from the sacred ground, then release them with a warning, an unresisting intruder may remain self-aware as he is walked out away from the sacred ground, and may be able to inquire of the spirit guardian where the sacred ground's boundaries lie and to what divine being the ground is sacred. Spirit guardians have no physical attacks, and can be harmed only with magical or true-silvered weapons.

See each cult description; the basic profile below may include weapons, armor, instruments, trappings, skills, prayers, and special magical abilities specific to each cult. (See summon guardian prayer, page ??, for further details on summoning divine spirit guardians.)

Spirit Guardian

M WS BS S T W I A Dex Ld Int Cl WP Fel MP

8 - - - 5* 15 60 - 20 20 30 60 60 20 10

* to resist damage from magical attacks.

Fly as swoopers.

Divine Servants

Divine Servants generally appear as magica l manifestations of deceased cult initiates, priests, champions, or fanatics who have distinguished themselves as mortals and who now have been selected as the divine patron's spiritual agents in mortal affairs. Their forms are physical and substantial, permitting them to cause damage to material beings and objects, but because of their magical nature magical attacks or true-silver are required to damage them.

Divine Servants often retain the power to invoke prayers that their mortal forms had in life, and may also retain the divine instruments or other magical abilities of their earthly forms. Their magical powers vary greatly; for example, the manifested spirit of an initiate will only be able to invoke petty prayers, but the manifested spirit of a fourth rank priest might be able to invoke any variety of petty, first, second, third, or fourth-rank prayers. The basic profile below should be thought of as a rough average; the gamemaster should design his own divine counselors to include weapons, armor, instruments, trappings, skills, prayers, and special magical abilities according to the cult and according to the advanced clerical careers completed by the divine servant in life. (See summon servant prayer, page ??, for further details on summoning divine servants.)

Divine Servant

M WS BS S T W I A Dex Ld Int Cl WP Fel MP

6 70 70 5 6 20 70 3 70 70 70 70 70 70 15

Fly as swoopers. Cause terror in all creatures. Skills, Prayers, and Trappings:

According to cult and advanced careers completed.

Divine Avatars

A Divine Avatar is a spiritual manifestation of the divine patron which takes friendly possession of the summoning cleric; the cleric assumes the larger-than-life physical features of his divine patron in a form ten-foot-tall, and may call upon the enhanced powers and abilities of the avatar. Divine avatars have access to all prayers, gifts, and skills favored by the cult, and the cleric's enhanced body temporarily gains the characteristics of the basic profile below. Divine Avatars also typically possess the trappings and divine instruments most closely identified with the divine patron and its cult.

Divine Avatars are unique magical beings of great power; the avatar for each cult should be a distinctive creation. Using the basic profile and guidelines below for the cleric's enhanced abilities, the gamemaster must design his own divine avatars to include weapons, armor, divine instruments, trappings, skills, prayers, and special magical abilities according to the cult and according to the legendary abilities and personality of the divine patron. (See summon guardian prayer, page ??, for further details on summoning divine guardian spirits.)

Divine Avatar

M WS BS S T W I A Dex Ld Int Cl WP Fel MP

6 90 90 6 7 25 90 6 90 90 90 90 90 90 30

Fly as swoopers. Cause terror in all creatures. Skills, Prayers, and Trappings : According to cult. An avatar has all skills, gifts, and prayers of his cult, and should have a variety of lesser and greater divine instruments.

CONSIDERATIONS DIVERSES

Politics of Confrontation Among Warhammer Gods

See the comparative list of MP scores for gods (page ??). As you can see, there's not much point in the gods warring with each other. Most gods are simply way too tough even for their most powerful rivals. Gods are almost impossible to kill: they are immensely durable, and have almost infinite dreamworlds to run to and hide in. The only God War known in the history of Warhammer -- the war between the Earth Mother and Chaos Powers when the Slann Gates collapsed -- was protracted, exhausting, and inconclusive. Basically, the only god with a decisive power advantage over any other individual god in the Known World is the Earth Mother, and since she would be the battlefield in any new god war, she is not likely to commit suicide by starting anything. However, over the millennia there has been a steady shift in power in favor of Chaos, as the Known World is increasingly flooded with aethyr/Chaos/magical potential through leakage at the collapsed Slann Gates. At some point in the distant future, the Chaos Gods may grow powerful enough to directly confront the Earth Mother, engaging in another God War which would be, in a human lifetime's terms, infinitely long, and which could result in the destruction of the Known World.

The balance of power among the lesser gods may shift significantly over the millennia. ndividual gods may become weaker as they lose worshippers and as their places of worship are destroyed, desecrated, or abandoned. The Dead Gods of Pharonica, for example -- once a powerful pantheon on the scale of the Young Gods -- are now reduced to feeble shadows of their former power, half-dead, half-sleeping in the ancient tombs and temples of Araby. And other gods, like Sigmar and Jeanne du Lac, have grown from minor hero cults to the status of lesser gods in no more than a few centuries.

The gods themselves and their divine servants almost never engage in direct conflict on Warhammer World. In the Chaos Wastes, the Chaos Powers do confront one another indirectly through their armies of demons and powers, but the objective of that war seems not to be the annihilation of opponents -- rather, that conflict seems to be a war for the sheer fun of war. Nonetheless, though in the Known World there may be frequent wars between the followers of opposed cults, you'll not find gods or their divine servants in the front lines.

The current balance of power among gods puts the Earth Mother in a position of vastly superior resources, but faced with the dilemma that using those resources would destroy the things she values most. The Gods of Chaos are vastly weaker, unencumbered by concern for the fate of Warhammer, but assured of certain annihilation in an all-out war with the Earth Mother. Thus the balance of power is stable, permitting Chaos its occasional excursions and inflammatory excesses, but ensuring that no large-scale conflict will break out in the conceivable future.

Limits of Divine Knowledge

Warhammer gods are neither omniscient nor omnipresent. They are not typically aware of events on Warhammer, except those which occur on sacred ground dedicated to them.

They are not typically aware of the thoughts or opinions of intelligent beings, except of those beings who are initiates or priests, and who make periodic reports to their gods in the form of daily devotions. As such, they get the initiate or priest’s limited perspective of events, and may even receive inadvertently or deliberately falsified information from their agents -- though gods get very cross when they find out they’ve been lied to.

If they choose, gods can take a personal interest in Warhammer affairs, and may monitor events through the consciousness (aware or unaware) of a cultist, or through the person of a divine agent (divine counselor, servant, etc.). In such a case, a god can be very well informed indeed, and will certainly catch mortals out if they are up to something. However, gods are typically not very interested in the affairs of mortals, unless the mortals are extremely entertaining, or earnestly involved in the god’s personal interests (healing, warfare, pestilence, etc., according to the god). Usually gods have other fish to fry -- big, magical, extra-dimensional fish, that is -- or big god parties or dreamworld resorts to visit, or long, annoying, and disturbing visits to their hyperdimensional accountants.

Gods do remember most of what they have learned over the centuries, but it may take them a rather long time to sort through their memories for specific information -- and usually such information is frequently either garbled or lost. Some subordinates have interests in various historical subjects, and may be able to provide information quickly.

Some anti-intellectual gods have a very cavalier attitude toward history and past events, insisting that the right attitude is what's important -- not fussing around with information and logic and such. For example:

Priest of Ulric: (invoking a learn god's will prayer) Oh Ulric, dost thou, most puissant of beings, happen to remember whether anybody left any big old traps at the entrance of this derelict temple of yours here in the middle of Nowhere in the Great Forest?

Voice of Ulric in head of Priest: Who care s? What're you, some wimp Ranald worshipper? Get on with it!

Gods haven't the vaguest idea what will happen in the future. They have plenty of opinions, and some of them are sensible and well-informed, but just as often they are a function of wishful thinking. Gods can screw around with time, but it is astronomically expensive in terms of magical power, and very unpredictable in its results. The action of Fate Points in Warhammer is the clearest example of this limited ability to tamper with time and events; gods can make minute alterations in events immediately past, but it is a lot of trouble, and they don't do it very often. For example:

Initiate of Ranald : Say, Ranald, my clever patron. Should I pick this lock to the everlasting glory of your name, or should I duck it and possibly avoid poison, traps, and hordes of vile monstrous beings lurking on the other side?

Ranald: It all depends.... Just don’t cock it up, and everything'll be fine.

Limits of Divine Interest

Gods are often interested in those of their cultists who are busily serving them and their principles. However, the gods won’t listen to just any bush-league worshipper; they count on their initiates and priest to pass on anything of interest. Once alerted to something interesting, a god may choose to personally follow the affairs of a layman follower, but seldom reveals himself, or responds to pleas for aid or information.

Gods may not be particularly interested in the daily reports of initiates and priests, but they or their divine subordinates generally listen to them. Gods are not at all interested in passing on messages from these reports -- they grant various long-range communication prayers for that -- but a priest asking for guidance can feel fairly sure that the god has at least a limited awareness of current events.

Gods do keep an eye out on their sacred ground -- temples, shrines, sacred spots, tombs of the saints, places where initiates and priests have set up temporary places of worship.

They may not be watching every minute, but a call for help or attention from a cultist in these spots is more likely to be heard and attended to.

When gods get bored, they watch Warhammer, like humans watch cable TV News. It may not be particularly interesting or important, but at least it changes a lot, and often offers lurid, bizarre amusements, and it makes the gods feel like they are well-informed.

Thus you never know when a god may be watching you; thus it is a bad idea to badmouth the gods.

The Eyes and Ears of the Gods

As we said, Warhammer's gods do not listen in regularly to affairs on earth. They are particularly attentive to actions taken and words spoken on ground sacred to their cults and in the presence of their clerics. This is why it is important to make one's devotions on sacred ground, and why one must make every attempt to find sacred ground upon which to make one's request for divine judgment on the cult's holy days. In an emergency, a cultist may simply stand anywhere and implore the attention of his god; however, the chances that a god will note the words or view the actions of a simple lay member not on sacred ground are rather slim. As GM, you may always decide that the character's faithful devotion to his cult has earned him the favor and special attention of his divine patron, and that the god will gladly make exceptions for his faithful follower -- particularly those apple-polisher types that always thank god ever time they get a decent die roll. On the other hand, the GM may decide that the character's dedication to his cult and its doctrines and practices has been feeble and insincere, and that the god will not notice such a wayward follower. Or the GM may simply leave the chance to the dice; for example, consider the following guidelines:

• If a lay member not on sacred ground asks his divine patron for judgment or personal attention, roll d100. On a score of 50 or more, the god hears the cultist.
• If the cultist is not in regions where his cult is normally worshipped, -10 penalty.
• If the cultist has received a blessing at his most recent Judgment Day, +30 bonus.
• If the cultist has received a rebuke at his most recent Judgment Day, -30 penalty.

Gods grant the seek shrine prayer so faithful followers may always find their way to holy ground where their acts, penitences, and offerings are clearly seen and appreciated. Gods also extend this service as a comfort to his Faithful Servants, so they may know they are not alone in this world. God further provides directions to a given divine instrument through this prayer, partly as a convenient method of orienteering, partly to simplify the tasks of recovering lost or stolen items or the bodies of their deceased stewards.

A god always knows where his sacred ground is. From a god’s perspect ive, such ground glows brightly in the vast darkness of the universe. Shrines and temples are steady lights; sacred circles and tokens blessed by prayer wink on and off. From a god's perspective, things on his own sacred ground are always brightly illuminated and clearly seen.

On the other hand, things and events NOT on the god's sacred ground are not necessarily clearly seen, even if they are of interest to him. Things and events on some other god's sacred ground are often deliberately or casually obsc ured, though friendly gods may communicate freely by an act of will, and may occasionally grant one another limited permission to view one another's sacred ground.

Note that most cults will have fairly accurate, though often eccentric and chauvinistic, maps of the world listing all the major temples, shrines, and holy sites. Such sites are distinctive landmarks to itinerant clerics and traveling cultists. This is also a nice source of income for the cults, who provide wealthy patrons and travelers with cartographic as well as spiritual guidance.

Heresy

You'd think that when you can speak directly with god, there wouldn't be any problems with heresy. Heresy is religious beliefs which contradict the orthodox teachings of a religion. On Warhammer, you'd think that all you'd have to do to straighten out a heretic is to ask god for a definitive public statement.

No such luck.

First, the gods of Warhammer are neither omnipotent nor omniscient. In fact, they're not even necessarily much wiser or more insightful than most humans.

Second, the gods of Warhammer have a peculiar habit of lying or misleading by omission when it suits their purposes.

Third, the gods have this peculiar notion that mortals wouldn't believe anything they were told, anyway -- that the only truth that mortals can appreciate is truth they can figure out on their own.

Fourth, the gods rarely speak directly to mortals; usually they speak only through subordinate divine spirits who are themselves even more fallible and self-interested than their gods. And even when the gods do deign to chat with mortals, they often speak in enigmatic gibberish, or refuse to answer questions, or behave in some other uncooperative fashion.

The Warhammer gods are something like human parents -- very powerful and very knowledgeable compared to their kids, but not necessarily accurate in what they say or consistent in their principles or actions.

So, heresy is alive and well in the cults of Warhammer World. Just thought you'd like to know.

Knowledgeable Gods and Scenario Mysteries

Gamemasters: don't worry about the gods spilling the beans concerning the elaborate mystery plots you create for your scenarios. The gods generally don't know any more than their cultists know, and their cultists are often as blissfully ignorant as anyone else in the campaign setting. Further, though god has free access to plenty of viewpoints, and can call upon the witnesses of dead cultists, god doesn't usually bother to study the pile of information he controls unless it is of present interest to him. The gods are usually distracted with personal divine day-to-day foolishness, just like mortals, and don't often ponder the complexities and riddle of Truth.

Verena is an exception. Verena is fascinated with informa tion, and loves to theorize. However, Verena is obsessively scrupulous in distinguishing Truth and Conjecture, and is likely to footnote her judgments with so many reservations that the labyrinthine and exhaustive analysis she offers will be as impenetrable as the original mystery itself. Nonetheless, though Verena is no more likely to have access to secret information than any other god, she and her cultists are the most likely ones to recognize patterns in commonly-known information that might be overlooked by less painstaking and methodical thinkers.

In general, assume that the gods are equally as mystified as the player characters concerning conspiracies and secret activities outside their own cult affairs.

Clerics and Material Wealth

Clerics dona te 90% of their annual income to the cult; in return the cult provides for the cleric's material needs. As GM, be hard but fair in dispersing cult funds to outfit clerics.

Normally material goods are understood to be owned by the cult and only on temporary loan to the cleric. Weapons, armor, and adventure gear should be provided. As a cleric gains in status, some cults (Manann, Ulric, etc.) may also begin to provide him with the trappings of worldly wealth, though the clerics of other cults (e.g., Shallya, the Old Faith) avoid the trappings of personal wealth on principle.

Terrible Oaths

Players should not be encouraged to swear Terrible Oaths lightly. Characters swearing trivial Terrible Oaths should be firmly rebuked by their gods. On the other hand, a Terrible Oath is a powerful symbol of character motivation, and may be worked into the narrative and theme of a campaign to magnificent effect, and greatly aids a player in developing dramatic depth in a character.

A character who has sworn a Terrible Oath should be thought of as frequently in the eye of the god or one of his servants. The god will be immediately aware of any great encounter related to the oath, and will probably wish to view it personally.

Normally the god will not intervene in the encounter; the god's primary desire is to judge the character's pursuit of his purpose. However, if the character uses a fate point during the course of such an encounter, the consequences of the use of the fate point should in some way reveal the touch of the Master's hand. For example, if a Shallya cleric uses a fate point to avoid a crushing blow from the club of a troll, perhaps a dove miraculously appears before the troll, distracting it, and falls victim to the troll's club in place of the hapless cleric.

Further, if the character's actions either favor or disgrace the god's doctrines and honor, some token of the god's pleasure or displeasure should be evident in the events of the encounter. Ideally the token should be purely symbolic, simply reinforcing the dramatic role of cult beliefs and divine presence in Warhammer World, but if necessary, the god may intervene to substantially alter the circumstances and outcome of the encounter, either though a miraculous alteration of fortune (i.e., a chance to re-roll dice, or an arbitrary success ruled regardless of the dice roll) or though the actions of a divine servant (e.g., a summoned guardian which bears an unconscious victim from the battle, or a summoned counselor who sacrifices himself so that the oath-swearing character may succeed). Such direct, arbitrary interventions of the gods should be rare, marvelous, and unique, occurring no more than once or twice in an entire campaign. Frequent intervention of the gods spoils the players' right to self -determination, and makes characters little more than puppets in the gods' hands.

Presenting Divine Counselors, Servants, and Avatars

Divine Counselors, Servants, and Avatars typically know about as much as the deities -

- that is, not much. The deities don’t take much interest in current events. Typically the gods are ruminating over the equivalent of a controversial call in the 1928 FA Cup Finals -- and they don’t like to be bothered. But their various servants are often the exalted spirits of former cult laymen, initiates, priests, champions, and fanatics, and may occasionally have some interesting informational tidbits.

When a Divine Counselor, Servant, or Avatar is questioned on the following topics, GMs should be fairly generous:

• cult doctrine and policy
• cult history (broad outlines; very sketchy on detail)
• cult heroes and saints
• sites, temples, shrines sacred to the cult
• cult enemies (full of propaganda and preaching)
• cult magics (prayers and divine instruments)

On the following topics GMs may be horribly vague, assertively confident, and/or transparently unreliable:

• the true history of the universe -- gods are terrible on family history, and the Young Gods in particular have been fed a lot of hooey by the Earth Mother
• mundane geography -- the gods are real vague on landmarks and political boundaries, and have absolutely no interest in the details of what house is where and which tree is next to the river. Some gods, like Sigmar, who are only ascended into heaven in the past two millennia, have vague recollections of the real world, but their recollections are a bit out-of-date and crowded out by other important information. However, the gods are pretty good on locating sacred ground. They cannot easily locate their clerics, however, unless the cleric checks in on sacred ground, as most clerics do several times a day as a part of cult observances and devotions.
• what everyone else on Earth is doing. God really doesn’t care much what his own clerics are doing at a given moment, and he usually doesn’t care much about the minor activities of his worst enemies, either, since their worst threats usually unfold in time periods of decades or centuries rather than hours or days.

On the following topics a Counselor, Servant, or Avatar is likely to be a bit short tempered and scornful:

• problem-solving: mortal problems are so dependent on mortal concerns of little interest -- and little appreciated -- by divine entities. Specific tactics and methods are up to the followers; divine entities are only interested in the big picture, in ethical and policy questions. Peculiar mysteries and unique phenomena -- big-time sorcerous and divine magic, weird monsters, demons, gods walking the earth, alien spaceships -- might be of interest to the divine beings, but they seldom have much helpful information or advice in dealing with them.
• concerns out of character for the cult: Sigmar divine servants get quite cross with followers eager to avoid frontal assaults. "Get in there and pound them! Break their morale! What are you, knees-bent-sneaking -around Ranald-kissers?"

Customizing Generic Cult Descriptions

There should be jillions of distinctive goblin Daemon, dwarven ancestral spirit, and barbarian spirit cults, but we didn't want to waste time and space on endless subtle variations. The examples published here are basic templates for you (and us) to use as models when designing specific cults for a given setting or scenario. Most of the time you can just use the cult de scription given here and improvise minor distinctive details; sometimes, for more important dwarven clans or goblin or barbarian tribes you may want to go to the trouble of doing a full cult write-up based on the one you find here. This is only appropriate if one of these tribes or clans is going to play a major role in your campaign. For example, the Heama Dolgan were developed for our Something is Rotten in Kislev campaign supplement, while the Zotan-Lufûtatar cult was created for the Henninga goblin tribes of the author's Doomstones campaign. Now that we've given you basic models, designing one of these cults should be a cinch, but the generic models are just fine for most purposes.

Divine Sponsorship

(Harmless Speculations, Most Expendable)

The pantheon genealogies of Warhammer are true in a metaphorical rather than literal sense of parent-offspring. In Warhammer, older gods may aid in the development of new gods through sponsorship of lesser beings who grow in magical power over time. The first stage of progression from the mortal to the divine is the Immortal Hero -- the being who survives death and becomes a cult hero. The survival of death may include retention of the original body, or it may mean no more than that the spirit retains selfawareness.

(This is like Sainthood. The spirit of the Hero essentially takes a good long educational vacation in the god’s dreamworld, but may get special temporary assignments back on Warhammer.)

A mortal may come to the attention of a god through the age ncy of his trusted subordinates, through his mortal clergy, or through the prominent glory of the mortal's actions. The sponsoring god may directly contact the mortal, or send subordinate spirits or mortals, or speak through dreams and portents, or may work completely anonymously.

At some point the distinguished mortal is subjected to a Heroquest -- a test of his potential and virtue -- to determine his suitability for sponsorship to divine status. If he passes the test, he may immediately be transfigured into Immortal form, or left on earth for a time to complete labors for his god. If he fails the test, he probably dies, or goes mad, or returns to mortal existence in some bitter or enigmatic form. He may even qualify for sponsorship with a competing enemy god, simply because his failure in some part of the test was a virtue, rather than a fault, in the enemy god’s eyes.

The second stage of progression is the status of Divine Servant. As a spirit the being serves his god’s needs -- running errands, saving faithful followers, providing divine counsel, etc. Such servants may be summoned by prayer or divine instrument. These guys make relatively frequent appearances on Warhammer for their divine sponsors.

The third stage of development is the status of Divine Aspect, where the being serves as a powerful divine servant who takes over some subordinate functions of the sponsor god’s responsibilities -- sort of a management internship. Thus an aspect of Manann may get an assignment to run streams and brooks for a couple of centuries. Such divine entities may be worshipped as gods in their own right, and rarely make personal appearances on Warhammer. They may even have their own little staff of lesser divine beings. Examples include Stromfels, the Wrecker, god of the cruel sea, and Karog, master of rivers.

The fourth and final stage of development is Independent Godhood. The Aspect may succeed his master (gods sometimes retire, "die," or go on tour of the universe), go into partnership, or may go off in business for himself. Taal, for example, has gone into partnership with Rhya, who was herself probably a lesser aspect of the Earth Mother, and Sigmar has set up his own cult. (Who was Sigmar's sponsor? Manann? Verena? the Earth Mother? perhaps even Ulric himself? Who knows?)

Other ideas

Staging notes for each cult: "Calling Card" distinctive hooks for each cult. Whenever a numina of a cult appears, or a Learn God's Will is answered, and so forth, this familiar cult tag line/theme music precedes it. For example:

Ulric -- crash of thunder
Shallya -- sweat music, maiden's voice
Sigmar -- barbarian king with overly-formal, clumsily precise legalese speech
Ecaté -- witchy cackle
Khaine -- wild, insane, maniacal laughter of a wacko villain
Verena -- professorial tones, stern old lady librarian
Myrmidia -- diction of a commanding or superior officer